Bill Green paddles to Burnt Island

Posted:  Thursday, June 8, 2017 - 8:30am

During this major push fundraising to restore the tower and other buildings on Burnt Island, the Keepers of Burnt Island Light and Elaine Jones hosted Bill Green and Green’s photograper/producer Kirk Cratty on June 1.

Keeper Howard Wright reports the video segment will air on  WCSH Channel 6 Portland and WLBZ Channel 2 in Bangor on Monday, June 12 during the 6 p.m. newscasts.

The day was quite foggy as Jones, Green and Cratty paddled out to the island in two kayaks. Wrote Wright, “Elaine and Bill left DMR around 8:30 in a rather heavy morning fog. The Marine Patrol boat was the media platform. Mr. Kirk Cratty was on board directing two very accommodating Patrol Officers on various boat positions while filming Elaine and Bill paddling in the fog!”

Arriving on Burnt Island, all were greeted by Jean McKay and Sue O’Brien, then treated to a blueberry pancake breakfast.

“This is going to be known as ‘Pancake Paddle-in to Burnt Island Lighthouse of the summer — every July and August,” said an enthusiastic Wright. “Just outstanding! And Bill and Kirk could not have been more generous with their time and sincere interest in Elaine's Burnt Island message.”

The lighthouse needs complete restoration inside and out. Its mortar has begun to crumble and rusting has developed in the lantern room, on the spiral staircase, as well as the astragals that hold the red glass in place. The keeper’s house needs significant exterior work to address rotting pine clapboards and its foundation which lacks mortar between its blocks. Work that must be completed for this historic landmark includes new siding, historically correct windows, and the re-pointing of the foundation.

Everything on the repair list must be done. Both Jones and McKay said the repairs are non-negotiable and need to happen right away. The estimate is $190,000. The work would not interfere with the short summer season and would be completed piecemeal in the spring and fall.

Wright said the WCSH team spent plenty of quality time with the school children on the island and all of the adults. “They could not have been more receptive, more involved, to which we are most grateful.”

Several fundraising events are planned for the summer, beginning with the event at Topside Inn on June 22. Help support the preservation of this historic landmark, which turns 200 in 2021,  by making a donation.

For more information or to donate, please contact the Keepers of Burnt Island Light, P.O. Box 738, Boothbay Harbor, Maine 04538, or visit

And don’t forget to watch Bill Green’s story on the island June 12!